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Events, gatherings and summer activities

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Organisers of culture and sporting events must follow the rules about number of participants and social distance.

Organisers of culture and sporting events must follow the rules about number of participants and social distance.


This article describes how the risk of transmission at events and gatherings can be evaluated and which measures to reduce risk are appropriate. The advice is general and should be considered together with the current regulations and the recommendations from the Directorate of Health. 

Events with up to 200 people

From 15th June 2020, it is allowed to have events in public places for up to 200 people. Up to 200 people refers to participants, audience, parents/siblings/companions and others who are present but do not have a role in organising the event. Employees or contractors who are responsible for the event are not counted in the number of participants at the event.

Events:

  1. sporting events, including tournaments, cups and matches, but not organised training or training matches.
  2. cultural events, including concerts, exhibition openings, opera, ballet, theatre and cinema, but not organised training, rehearsals or exams.
  3. other events, including seminars, exhibitions, temporary markets, birthdays, weddings, funerals, religious gatherings, etc. Flea markets to generate income for voluntary organisations are not included.

A public place is defined as a place intended for public use or a place frequented by the public. In addition, the same conditions apply for events in premises and outdoor areas that are rented or borrowed, including hotels, community centres, assembly halls and conference halls. 

Participants shall keep a distance of at least one metre between people who do not live in the same household or are in their closest circle of contacts, and the distance should be maintained during the entire event. The distance from face to face is most important. Standing back-to-back, or behind each other as in a queue, has less risk of transmission, but the distance should still be maintained. When sitting side by side, there should be a metre from shoulder to shoulder.

The following groups may be exempt from the physical distance requirements at an event if it is necessary for the activity to be performed normally:

  1. performers in cultural activities with a professional director

  2. top athletes performing in sports events

  3. players and support teams for matches in top league football matches where the Norwegian Football Association has decided are ready to follow the association's infection control protocols prepared in collaboration with the Norwegian Directorate of Health

  4. people under the age of 20 who attend summer school, summer camp, activity camp, cultural school, camp school, end-of-term ceremony and other school-like leisure or holiday service, and those who host the event.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Culture on the 23rd June, from 1st August 2020, exemption will be given from the distance requirement in the COVID-19 regulations for children and adults under the age of 20 during matches and competitions within the local regional boundaries of the association. The exemption will apply when the activity cannot take place as normal if the distance requirement is to be met.  The exemption applies if the transmission situation at the time allows it. 

The exemption from the distance requirement applies only to persons who are not in quarantine or isolation, see Social distance, quarantine and isolation.

Exemptions to the distance requirement cannot be made at the event for the audience or spectators. The exemption only applies during the activity and that performers should otherwise follow the general infection control advice.

The organiser is responsible for: 

  • having an overview of who is present, in order to assist the municipality in the event of subsequent contact tracing. If it is necessary to make a list of participants with contact details for this purpose, this should be deleted after 10 days.
  • implementing measures to ensure that sick people do not participate in the event.
  • following the relevant standards for infection control measures.
  • making sure that advice about social distance and infection control is followed throughout the event.

Events with more than 200 people

So far, events with more than 200 people are prohibited. The possibility of increasing from 200 people up to 500 people will be assessed monthly. Events for more than 500 people will not be opened until 1st September 2020 at the earliest.

Planning and risk assessment

For all events, implementation needs to be planned to ensure good infection control management. The organiser is responsible for ensuring that the requirements for implementation will be met and to decide whether it is justifiable to hold the event. Therefore, it is important to read the current advice for infection control.

For larger events, it may be appropriate to contact local health authorities for questions about implementation. The organiser should have made a risk assessment and implentation plan in advance.

As an aid to the organisers, a template has been developed for risk assessment of events and a checklist to ensure that infection control measures are in place. 

You can download Table 1 and Table 2 here (PDF or Word files):

The following general measures to reduce the risk of infection should be in place:

  • Ensure adequate capacity and resources for good implementation
  • Provide information in advance that people with symptoms of respiratory tract infection should not attend the event. This also applies to people who are in home isolation or quarantine.
  • Good capacity for hand hygiene, either hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand disinfectant. This is especially important for toilet areas and for dining areas.
  • Information about general hygiene advice (e.g., posters)
  • Arrangements to avoid congestion where participants are expected to form queues or gather in groups. Clear marking (e.g. tape on the floor, marks on the ground etc.) can help. If several groups will be gathered, different meeting times/places should be considered, and meeting places should be clearly marked with colour-coded signs or tape, etc.
  • It is recommended to split participants into smaller groups to reduce the number of contacts. This reduces infection risk, aids work with subsequent contact tracing and prevents too many people being followed up with testing or quarantine.
  • Increased focus on cleaning (for example in kitchens, food service areas, toilets and frequent touch points)
  • Provide information about symptoms of illness and what participants / performers / audiences should do if they develop symptoms and where to go (e.g., posters)
  • Major events should have a plan, in collaboration with the local healthcare service, for how suspected cases should be managed, isolated and followed up. Consider the consequences for people who become ill or close contacts who depend on flights or public transport to travel home. There may be a need for isolation / quarantine in hotels or similar.

If the event includes activities where equipment is shared, see

Events at venues serving food and drink

Venues such as restaurants, cafes, bars and pub, as well as discos and nightclubs, can stay open if they operate according to infection control advice. If an event is to be carried out at such a venue, the rule of a maximum of 200 people applies, plus the other requirements to carry out the event.

The industry and each venue must consider what is an event and what is included in the normal operation of the venue. Entertainment, concerts etc., at a restaurant will typically be considered to be an event if the guests mainly come to watch the entertainment. Other factors suggesting an event include tickets, invitation or registrations in order to attend, that the event has a clear start and end time and that event is promoted in advance, with a specific place and time.

It can be useful to contact the local health authority/municipality for help in evaluating whether the plans count as an event or not.

Events and summer activities of longer duration for children and adolescents

Leisure activities are important for the physical and mental health of children and adolescents. At this stage of the pandemic, it is possible to arrange certain events for children and adolescents within a safe framework. By the term “events of longer duration” we mean daytime events lasting several consecutive days, or activities that include overnight accommodation. 

The general advice described above also applies for events and activities for children and adolescents.

The exemption from the distance requirement for an event for people under 20 years of age applies for school-like leisure or holiday activities, such as summer school, activity camps and end-of-term ceremonies, etc. For other arrangements for children and adolescents than school-like activities, and for adults other than the organiser/activity leader, the 1 metre distance rule applies for people who are not in the same household or equivalent close contact circle.  From 1st August 2020, the Ministry of Culture has announced that the  exemption will be given from the distance requirement in the COVID-19 regulations for children and adults under the age of 20 during matches and competitions within the local regional boundaries of the association, as long as the transmission situation at the time allows it. 

Although events with up to 200 people are permitted, it is recommended to divide participants into smaller groups to make it easier to maintain general infection control measures. The number of children/adolescents in a group should be adjusted according to age, development, need for participant supervision and how many adult supervisors are needed to conduct the activity. Generally, the size of the groups should not exceed 20 people. For activities for younger children (primary school and younger) the size of groups should be reduced even further. Where possible, groups should have the same participants throughout the entire event, and mixing of groups should be avoided. This means that the groups should be separated when conducting activities that demand a certain proximity between the participants, for example, sleeping, eating etc. Supervisors should not change groups during the event, and all groups should have enough supervisors to be able to maintain general infection control measures.

For activities that are not considered events, the general recommendation is that the group size should be limited to a maximum of 20 people. If the people in the group are children / adolescents who are often together, e.g. a school class, training group etc., they can be exempt from the recommendation to keep 1 metre distance while training.

Participants should be encouraged not to attend the event / activity before it is scheduled to start and to leave the activity area at the end of the event / activity to avoid gatherings in oversized groups with the result that the distance recommendations are not followed. Everyone should be encouraged to use alternatives to public transport to and from the activity. If shared transport is used, the infection control advice should be followed, including avoiding mixing groups.

Guardians should avoid staying in common areas associated with the event / activity beyond that necessary for delivery and collection. Parents should also keep at least 1 metre distance to other children and adults.

For more information on infection control advice in connection with organised sports activities, see Sport and training.  Several of the individual cultural, sports and activity associations also have additional information related to the corona eruption on their website.

If, after a risk assessment, it is considered that the event can be carried out, it is recommended to use the proposed checklist to ensure that all the infection control advice is met.

You can download the risk assessment table or the checklist for events of longer duration for children and adolescents here (PDF or Word):

 

 

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